A novel connection for fibre reinforced polymer bridge decks: Conceptual design and experimental investigation
Journal article, 2014
In the past two decades, the use of fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) decks has attracted a great deal of attention when it comes to the refurbishment of existing bridges and the construction of new ones. FRP materials offer superior properties, such as high specific strength and stiffness, light weight, high fatigue and corrosion resistance and good durability. Because of their low self-weight and prefabrication potential, FRP composites lend themselves to accelerated bridge construction, thereby leading to minimised traffic interference. However, one challenge that is posed by FRP deck systems is the detailing and design of panel level connections. Today, a common practice for joining deck panels on site is adhesive bonding, which compromises the benefit of rapid FRP deck installation due to the time-restricted curing required for structural adhesives. As a result, there is a need for the development of joints which enable more rapid assembly. In this paper, a novel joint configuration for panel level connections is proposed. Numerical analyses and static experimental tests were conducted to evaluate the behaviour and load-carrying capacity of the connection. The overall investigation showed that the presented joint concept is a potential alternative for panel level connections in FRP decks.
Panel level connection